1996 Ford Escort GT 1.6 DOHC from North America


Best car I've ever bought


I have had this car for about 2 months. I drive it about 100 kilometres a day and have no troubles.

General Comments:

This is really good for its value. its really quick. I have raced cars that I thought was considerably faster than I was, but I have raced them and won by a fair margin. I really love this car and in the future I'm going to swap the engine with a mazda 323 gtx turbo engine which produces about 190 hp stock. this car will fly once it has that.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2004

1996 Ford Escort LX 1.9 liter 4-cylinder from North America


Good Car at a Good Price!


The motorized seatbelt on the driver's side broke.

Speedometer becomes erratic at about 55 mph.

Acceleration is anemic when air conditioner is on.

Automatic transmission jolts between 1/2 and 2/3 when the gas is pushed too hard.

Brakes squeal.

General Comments:

As you can see, the above problems are a bit irritating, but are nothing serious.

The car gets excellent gas mileage.

Very reliable little car. I would definitely own a Ford again in the future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th August, 2004

12th Oct 2008, 04:29

Seat belts were gimmick anyway.

Squealing brakes mean wear indicators are running against brake disc. replace pads.

A/C takes a lot to run. Takes power away from a V8 too, just not as noticeable.

1996 Ford Escort Cabaret 1.6 Zetec from UK and Ireland


Nippy bargain let down by niggling faults


Driver's seat sagging and uncomfortable.

Brakes squeal even when the brakes are not applied. This sound disappears when the brakes are applied. By coincidence the brakes are also INCREDIBLY spongy.

Car pulls to the left under hard braking.

Speedo wobbles around the 30-40 mark.

Boot leak.

Rusting driver's side rear wheel arch cost 140 pounds to repair.

General Comments:

Good performance from 1600cc 16v Zetec Engine, although very little low-down torque. Engine rough above 3500rpm and slow to rev.

Lovely gearbox compared to my last car. Changes are smooth, easy and positive, except getting it into reverse, which can be a pain unless the car is doing under 1000 revs.

Comfort in general is good apart from limited rear space and unsupportive driver's seat. Great driving position though.

An ergonomic masterpiece, all control are at hand, but the stereo is too close to the gear lever.

Firm, comfortable ride even with low-profile tyres. Handles like a go kart, the steering is super responsive, but far too vague for any real fun.

Loads of wind and road noise at 80mph on the motorway, stick to 70 and turn up the radio.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 11th July, 2004

1996 Ford Escort Si 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Quick cheap runabout


Washer pump went west at 63000 miles, new one cost £30.00

Otherwise the car has be reliable.

General Comments:

The good thing with an Escort is that they have improved with age.

This little number returns 36-40mpg

Tops out at around 128mph (Where allowed)

Cheap to service

Kind to tyres and brakes

Good seats, reliable, nippy

Just sold it and got a Focus.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th June, 2004

1996 Ford Escort LX 1.6i 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


Underrated, reliable, economical A to B motoring


Knocking from engine turned out to be nothing more serious that a loose timing belt cover.

Clutch is getting tired (84k and original, so not surprising)

No other faults.

General Comments:

These later Escorts are something of a well kept secret due to the terrible name of the earlier models. By '96, the Escort was a well built, decent handling family car, but by then attentions had turned to the forthcoming Focus, and nobody cared. Great when you're buying them used though.

The 1.6 "Zetec" engine pulls well for what it is and is reasonably refined. The car actually handles quite nicely within the scope of a family hatchback and the steering has a fair amount of feel. It's no hot hatch (or Focus), but when you've got kids in the back, nobody with an ounce of responsibility would drive in a manner to notice the difference.

The interior is plasticky, but very robust and perfectly functional. The seats are comfortable and the driving position, like most Fords, is comfortable for several hundred miles at a time. The car is no more tiring or "hard work" on a run than a modern Focus, and gobbles up motorway miles with the best of them. The boot is a useful size too.

Reliability has been first class. I service the car myself using genuine Ford parts (cheaper than most manufacturer's 3rd party stuff if you buy them from factors) and use genuine Ford 5W/30 oil. The engine hasn't missed a beat, runs smoothly and quietly, and uses about half a litre of oil every 6,000 miles.

The real beauty of this car is that it has cost me virtually nothing to own and run since I've had it. I paid £1750 for the car in 2001 and it's still worth a grand today. A standard service costs me about £40 in parts, a major about £75. It's an easy car to work on too, costs peanuts to insure, and with "kids in the back" driving, regularly returns 40 mpg.

If you just want no frills, reliable transport, and don't expect it to be as sharp as a hot hatch, the Escort does virtually nothing wrong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th June, 2004

6th Aug 2006, 13:12

Good review. I have the same version as you do & agree with everything you have put down. My only issues were electrical ones, but these have to be put down to the previous owner in my case. Don't know what they were doing, but they shouldn't have been playing with wires the way they had done.

Just one question really, you say your Escort returns 40mpg regularly. HOW? lol. Not saying you are wrong at all. I have only hit 40mpg twice in my year and a half with the car, 43mpg being my best return. Now it's warmer it's returning 35-38, in winter it was 29-34/35.